Never in the history of Caldy Rugby Club have we had a season like this one! Caldy Rugby Club will now play in the Championship against some of the great clubs of English Rugby. An enormous thank you to so many people:
- Gareth Davies as Director of Rugby, Matt Cairns and Rich Vasey as 1st XV coaches and Andrew Soutar and Christian Jones as coaches of the 2nd Our teams are so well coached and prepared, and the professionalism is second to none in the league. Amazingly the 2nd XV hasn’t lost since March 2019 and this weekend are playing in the League Final against Macclesfield at Vale of Lune. If you can get there to support them please do!
- The players! They have been magnificent, and the team spirit has been second to none – there is a saying “cometh the hour cometh the man” and our players have certainly proved themselves in the white heat of the battle in the big games. Great skill combined with a winning mentality and off the pitch and such genuinely good people.
- Our main sponsors. Whilst we had by far the lowest budget in National One our main sponsors have supported the club for many years and ask for very little in return but quietly provide support that allows us to play at such a high level. A big thank you from everyone at Caldy.
- All our other sponsors – whether you have sponsored a player, a match, attended Sporting Lunches or supported us in any other way a big thank you. It has helped us a lot!
- All those volunteers who work so hard and make such a difference. Whether it the Last of the Summer Wine, Bob Cooke our Clubman of the Year who has fulfilled so many jobs and has done them so well, Roger Flashman the senior section secretary, Alan Roberts our Treasurer who puts so many hours in each week, Pauline Dickinson our Membership Secretary, John Lyon, aka Big Eddie, who composes The Friday Feeling and writes the match reports in such a professional way that most people think we have a paid journalist working for us, Gary Sanders who works so very hard ensuring all the kit and equipment is ready and in perfect order, Lynn Ridgway the Chairwoman of the Community section who with the support of her committee and the coaches and managers run such an excellent mini, youth, girls and touch section, Graeme Birch for managing the international tickets and Tim Kilpatrick and his volunteers who man the gate. Along with so many others who give their time freely to make Caldy such a successful community club
- All those who travel to away games both on the coach and under their own steam. It made a difference to the lads knowing people care so much, and they gave such wholehearted support.
- Our President, Graham Armitage, and the Past Presidents, Vice Presidents and Life Members who have been such excellent ambassadors and hosts. Friends have been made and the image of Caldy is very positive one because of their friendliness – shown by the number of messages of support and congratulations received from other teams in National One.
- Last season we appointed a Social Media Partner, The Social Desk, and James and his team have done an excellent job raising awareness on our behalf!
And the season was rounded off by a Sporting Lunch attended by 265 people, a Past Players lunch attended by over 300 and last weekend a Ball attended by 230 and we had a crowd in excess of 3,000 to watch the decider against Sale FC. A great and fitting finale to the season. Many thanks to Lynn Ridgway, Sophie Cairns and Caroline Vasey for organising the Ball.
At the ball the Awards for the season were awarded. Winners were:
- 1st XV Player of the Year – Sam Dickinson
- 1st XV Young Player of the Year – Lucas Titherington
- 1st XV Player’s Player of the Year – Ollie Hearn
- 1st XV Fans Player of the Year – Ollie Hearn
- 2nd XV Player of the Year – Will Robinson
- 2nd XV Young Player of the Year – Will Robinson
- 2nd XV Player’s Player of the Year – Liam Isaacs
- 2nd XV Fans Player of the Year – Joe Sanders
Everyone a worthy winner!
In addition, at the end of the season we awarded Caldy Legends Awards to:
Roger Flashman – who has been on just about every committee since 1962 and has worked tirelessly for Caldy Rugby club
John Butler – a Past Chairman and Past President whose positive influence and belief in doing things correctly has influenced the way our Rugby Club has developed over the years
Phil Wylie – the Unsung Hero who has worked so hard in the background and is now Chairman of the Last of the Summer Wine
Richard Vasey – who is the 2nd highest points scorer in our history and after playing 164 games and scoring 1,576 points is now a 1st XV coach
Andrew Soutar – who has played 238 1st XV games, is our 4th highest points scorer having scored 75 tries, and now coaches and on occasion still turns out for the 2nd XV.
All very worthy winners who join the pantheon of Legends of Caldy that already included: Gavin Roberts, Dickie Smith, Derek Salisbury and Jack Collister. And there are so many other unsung heroes who help make our club so professional off the pitch as well as on it!
Next Season – Sponsors Needed
The planning has already begun! As a Championship side we will incur far more costs and are looking for new sponsors to support us. If you would like to be a main sponsor, a match sponsor, a player sponsor or to join our Business Club (which we will be restarting soon) please get in touch with me by email to email@example.com. To give you an idea on costs, next season we must pay insurance costs – which with RFU support last season was £42k per club – and there is little confidence that there will be support for the next season which will put the cost up. In addition, we have many extra costs we must pay for that did not apply to National League sides
What we want to create is a sustainable club that remains at heart a community club! We don’t want to change our model or our values but we do want to be successful into the long term and there are always things we can improve and we will have much increased costs and travel costs. If you, or your business, can support us next season please do so! There are a wide range of sponsorship opportunities and we would appreciate your support.
Caldy Sports Field Trust – Let’s Improve Our Infrastructure
You will recall that when Covid first arrived I sent a newsletter out asking for donations to carry out improvements on the club house and the grounds. It was money very well spent! Essential maintenance such as replacing windows, replacing cladding, improving toilets, creating a tea room etc along with lots of hard work by volunteers to extend the viewing area was carried out.
We need to carry out further works to improve the club house and grounds. The main jobs are to replace the flooring in the main bar and in the lounge as it has pretty much failed and to extend the lower viewing area to replicate the top viewing area. The work will benefit everyone visiting Paton Fields to watch rugby!
So, if you can donate please do so! Last time we raised £30,000 from the generosity of members and I would like to think we will achieve a similar figure this year. The club house has limitations, as we all know, but we can present it in the best light possible when we have visitors next season from Championship clubs.
If you are able to donate please make your payments to
Caldy Sports Field Trust
Sort Code: 40 – 29 – 08
Account Number: 74052870
We can recover 20% from HMRC for personal donations we will do that as well. All money donated will only be used to improve the infrastructure of the club and grounds and all works must be agreed by the Trustees for the Charitable organisation (CSFT).
Just by way of update the application was submitted a few months ago and queries are being dealt with and meetings held with key stakeholders such as the National Trust. I am pleased to say that the meeting with the National Trust went well, and we are now dealing with the questions raised by Wirral Borough Council Planning Department. As soon as there is anything more to report we will do so. Once again, our aim to build a clubhouse that will help sustain a successful sports club for the next 100 years – to leave a legacy for the future. Thanks to those involved in the initiative for all the hard work they have put in.
We are very much a community club and it was great to hear that both our Senior and Junior Colts won their respective Cup Finals.